The CBIs took participants through a series of presentations, hands-on activities, and discussions that focused on approaches to the inclusion of students with disabilities in science instruction. The typical approach is to provide accommodations (e.g., handouts in large print or Braille, adapted science equipment, a personal assistant) to specific students with disabilities once they enroll in a course. The field of universal design offers a more efficient and inclusive approach where teachers plan for a student group with a wide range of characteristics with respect to race, ethnicity, stature, reading level, physical and sensory abilities, etc, rather than design courses and activities for the average student. This approach builds in accessibility features and thus minimizes, but does not eliminate, the need for accommodations; for example, schools/programs will still need to provide specialized services for Braille production and sign language interpreters if a blind or deaf student, respectively, enrolls in the course. Throughout the CBIs the perspectives of students with disabilities were brought in through panels and video presentations.

8:30 - 9:00 a.m.
Registration & Continental Breakfast

9:00 - 10:30 a.m.
Introduction to Science Access Issues

10:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Making Science Activities Accessible

12:00 - 12:45 p.m.

12:45 - 2:00 p.m.
Applying Universal Design

  • Discuss: What can individual stakeholders (e.g., a student, teacher, parent) do to increase the success of students with disabilities in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics)? Consider both accommodations and universal design approaches.
  • Activity: Create personal plan for implementation of universal design of your instruction: In Equal Access: Universal Design of Instruction, cross out items that do not apply; insert implementation date for others.
  • Report: What steps will you take to make your courses more accessible?

2:15 - 3:30 p.m.
Technology Access
View video Computer Access: In Our Own Words (Note additional technology videos in packet)

  • Presentation: Overview of Technology Access Barriers and Solutions—Assistive Technology and Universal Design
  • Discuss: What can institutional stakeholders (e.g., schools; districts, state agencies) do to increase the success of students with disabilities in STEM? What systemic change efforts would you recommend? Consider both policies and practices.

3:30 - 4:00 p.m.
Next Steps
Stay involved with AccessSTEM;
Search the AccessSTEM Knowledge Base for questions and answers, case studies, and promising practices;
Report & Evaluation: What did you learn and how will you apply it?